No more Googling… but you can Yahoo!

YahoogleThe Seattle Times reports that Google is going after folks utilizing their verb in vain. Marketing Pilgrim found a great blog post from a Yahooer that says… you can’t Google but feel free to Yahoo!

In one sweeping motion, Yahoo! has become cool and Google has become the corporate jerk. I did some scouring and have not seen a comment from Google on why they’ve chosen to take this action. Seems to me that it’s a great viral marketing technique… introduce a new verb to the world that has your business name in it, and you’re going to complain? Next thing you know the music industry will turn into jerks and will start suing folks over sharing great music! (Oh wait…)

I got to visit Google headquarters while on a business trip last year. I was in awe of the campus, scooters, kitchenettes, massage chairs, etc. A few thoughts went through my head… wow, cool, this place has too much money, and these folks could use a dress code! But now it appears that the ‘corporates’ are now officially on campus. One hint of this was when Cambrian House was booted off campus after trying to feed Google with a thousand pizzas.

For companies who have really succeeded based on viral marketing, it’s amazing to me that when the opportunity arises to really show how ‘cool’ they say they are, they simply go stupid. Best Buy did this last year when Improv Everywhere had a couple hundred folks show up looking like Best Buy employees and they were subsequently hassled, the police called, and they were given the boot.

Bottom line, if you’re going to tell folks you’re new, hip, cool, the bomb, tight, etc… then you better not mess that up in a single stupid swoop. Google just dropped 10 degrees on my coolmometer.

Dear Mr. Google,

Please don’t revoke my gmail, reader, analytics, mapping api, discussion forum, or google home page accounts. I still think you’re cool. Just not as cool.

Warmest Regards,

Yahoo! should take advantage of this opportunity. Are you yahooing?


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    Google has to protect its name or it will lose its copyright and any porn site could use the word to attract traffic. Of course Yahoo wants you to Yahoo! as a verb. Remember their TV ads that asked “Do You Yahoo!?” Unfortunately, nobody did Yahoo. But without any advertising, people started Googling. How embarrasing for Yahoo! You can’t advertise or plead for coolness, which is what turns you into a verb.

    The Cambrian House issue shows Google’s big Dark Side: It’s secrecy. Everybody who steps foot on Google property uninvited gets booted off. I’ve been booted off. It was rather fun.

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    I would tend to agree with you regarding Google needing to protect it’s copyright; however, I always find it interesting that companies don’t complain until the money is flowing. Google wasn’t complaining as a startup when folks started using the term ‘googling’; they were most likely starved for the attention. However, now that they can afford a legal department, it seems insincere that now they are going to try to protect their good name.

    This is synonymous with the record industry. When you’re a broke musician, you’re begging folks to listen… when you’re a multi-millionaire, you have to chum up with RIAA and start suing.


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